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Dirty-South Blues Harp forum: wail on! > Is my Fabulous diatonic harmonica fake?
Is my Fabulous diatonic harmonica fake?
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Frankie
126 posts
Dec 05, 2021
10:29 PM
OK
I hate this fabulous harmonica , I have more than 30 harmonicas from different companies and this is the most expensive and I hate it most. I have seen that there is fake suzuki harmonicas out there but I bought this directly from a online store in Japan ( I purchased other harmonicas from there too and they are ok )
3 years have passed still I hate this harmonica . Now is it my skill or the harmonica is fake?

Is there any way I can know my harmonica is fake?

It needs more effort to make this harmonica work and I hate the sound
SuperBee
7015 posts
Dec 06, 2021
2:19 AM
I don’t know how to tell if it’ss fake, but it might be a genuine bad harp.

I dunno, Frankie. Sometimes you might just get a real lemon. The good thing about Suzuki harps is that they come with a warranty, at least, sometimes they do, if you buy them from a business which offers a warranty, and you make a claim within the time limit. Sorry, my bad.

Usually a bad harp from a good quality line can be made into a good harp. Maybe you can find someone who understands how to fix harps and doesn’t charge too much?
jbone
3413 posts
Dec 06, 2021
4:11 AM
Gary Lehmann is the US Suzuki repair guy.

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florida-trader
1556 posts
Dec 06, 2021
11:48 AM
Frankie - I seriously doubt that your harp is a fake. Not to go too far down the rabbit hole, but personally I am convinced that the rumors about fake Suzukis are a bunch of BS. They stem from a situation years ago where some guy sold about 2-300 Suzukis on Amazon for less than what Suzuki USA charged for them. The guys at Suzuki put out the word that they "might be" fake and to beware because unless you could prove you bought reed plates or harmonicas from Suzuki, they would not honor the warranty. Suzuki USA is no more. KMC in Connecticut now has the distribution rights in the US for Suzuki harmonicas.

Anyway, enough of that. The Fabulous has a silver plated brass comb and silver plated brass covers. The reed plates are identical to Manji reed plates, with one small exception. Manji reed plates are laser tuned. It is kind of a production line thing. Faster than hand tuning I guess. Fabulous reed plates are hand tuned by a skilled harp tech. The proof is very simple. First of all, I have a few Fabulous harps and I have purchased Fabulous reed plates from Suzuki. They are the same price as the Manji reed plates. That ought to tell you something. My point is that it would be a lot of work to counterfeit a Fabulous. I just don't see it happening.

So, about your harp. There are a lot of reasons why it may not play well. I won't go into them but I will also mention that the Fabulous reed plates are available in Equal Temperament or Compromise Temperament. Manjis are tuned to Suzuki's Compromise Temperament recipe. Personally, I do not care for it. I tune all the Manjis I build to Modern Compromise Temperament, which is the current tuning of the Marine Band and the Special 20. When you tune a Manji to Modern Compromise, it springs to life. It is possible that you don't like the way your Fabulous is tuned.

Bottom line, if you want, you can send it to me and I will transform that Fabulous into your favorite harp. Just let me know.

Tom
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Tom Halchak
Blue Moon Harmonicas
Blue Moon Harmonicas

Last Edited by florida-trader on Dec 07, 2021 12:47 PM
nacoran
10377 posts
Dec 06, 2021
3:01 PM
To expand on what Tom said, what I heard had to do with warranty issues. Suzuki contracts out their warranty work in the U.S. and if you buy it from Japan instead of an authorized U.S. dealer they won't honor the warranty because they factor that into the price when they sell them here. So there were some harps on the market that were technically Suzuki but hadn't gone through the right channels to be covered.

Of course, they contract out their lower end production (as do a lot of companies).



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Gnarly
3005 posts
Dec 07, 2021
6:35 AM
Tom is right, the reference to “fake” is really about grey market goods.
I have never seen a counterfeit Suzuki, although some of the new Chinese brands do seem to resemble the Suzukis.
I am still the warranty guy for Suzuki, one year is a pretty long warranty period.
But I do other brands too, and of course, out of warranty work, including other brands. Lately Hohner has been farming out their extra non warranty repairs, and I am one of the people they recommend.
Just fixed a CX-10 for Mickey Raphael!
Bottom line, if you don’t like the harp you bought, you have a few options
1. Send it back (too late)
2. Have it improved under warranty (also not an option here)
3. Make it better yourself
4. Send it to a tech to improve
5. Put it in a box, take it out every once in a while and torture yourself about bad decisions you can’t undo.

One thing you might try, since you probably have other Suzuki harps—swap the reed plates with another harp you like and see if that bring some resolution to the issues.


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